Make a splash with well-reviewed Sauvignon Blancs
This may be fake news, but I just heard at a rally in Michigan that both our senators and our representative are writing up a bill to ban knives. The governor and majorities in both houses in Dover have gleefully joined in demanding that knife-free zones wherever children or large groups congregate be added to the bill. Chefs, butchers, mall owners, boardwalk groups and box openers are up in arms and forming KY (Knives YES) groups to protest. I think I'll go sip some wine.
The Sauvignon Blanc season is upon us. Here are my suggestions, in no particular order, for those I consider the best of show. In the interest of cramming a bunch in, the notes are cryptic. If you are unsure, email me for a longer adjective-packed description. 2014 Fiddlehead Cellars Goosebury from Santa Ynez in Cali, 91 points under $25. Very refreshing. Limes, apricots and peaches with vibrant acidity. Dog Point Vineyard Section 79 Marlborough NZ 2013, 93 under $30. These spend at least 18 months on oak. A lot of body for an SB. White currants, citrus, white flowers, hazelnuts, vibrant minerality. The '13 is nearly as good. Arboleda Aconcagua Chile 2016 is on the list, 91 points under $16. Lime, hints of grass, and fennel. Great acidic support and a round, full mouthfeel. Trinchero Mary's Vineyard Napa 2015 is dry and refreshing with melon, orange blossom and mineral nose. On the palate, passionfruit and mango, round mouthfeel, 92 points, $18.Carmen Gran Reserva Ocado 2015, one of Chile's oldest vineyards, 1850. Passionfruit and citrus aromas, vibrant acidity and a clean, long finish, $17, 90 points. Flora Springs Napa, $25, 93 points, is double gold. Complex nose of tropical fruit, pineapple, peach, apricot, grapefruit, lemon, honey, vanilla, which leads into a complex palate of more tropical fruit, grapefruit, Meyer lemon, passionfruit, a touch of jalapeño and mineral support. Creamy finish with vanilla. William Hill Estate Winery North Coast 2014 completes this listing. This had a small amount of Semillon added to the blend to great effect, 91 points under $15. Big, beautiful bouquet of quince, guava, pineapple, peach, orange peel, with lemon, honey, honeysuckle and basil nuance. Citrus palate, mostly grapefruit, with melon, jalapeno and honeyed notes. The finish is very long, repeating grapefruit with floral hints and a touch of grass.
Several Port houses have declared 2016 a vintage year. I will be reviewing them in late summer after their release. It is traditional to only declare a vintage in years of exceptional quality. Historically, a vintage is declared about three times per decade, with the last vintage declared in 2011. Those reporting in my email were Taylor Fladgate, Croft and Fonseca. All are owned by Fladgate Partnership. I'm sure several others will follow. Initial recommended sales pricing is $100-$120. Longtimers are aware that patient purchasers will get in at a better price. However, 2016 was a relatively low-yield season throughout, so it is possible there may not be too much price deterioration.
Yuengling, America's oldest brewery, has added TAPS as a new partner for the third year of its Lager for Heroes program, which is focused on supporting and showing appreciation to veterans and their families. Yuengling's partnership with TAPS (Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors) offers compassionate comfort and care to those coping with the death of a loved one serving in the military. It is providing $50K plus a percentage of merchandise sales. You can pitch in at participating places and hoist one in memory of those who died in service for their country.
I read an interesting article stating that "wine online sales" are exploding throughout the U.S. Ironically, New Hampshire, the "Live Free or Die" state, just passed a law making them illegal, becoming the sixth state where they are prohibited. We should be very proud in Delaware.
Our legislators placed us on the prohibited list years ago. We can bring wine home in our car, but no shipping is allowed. Contact Jean Laffite or Dominique Yue to avoid the revenooers. Here's a map and info for those interested: http://www.winespectator.com/webfeature/show/id/50258.